Smithville High debuts $10.1 million activity center

Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 8:27 AM CDT
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SMITHVILLE, Mo. (KCTV) – Smithville High School students are officially working out in their brand-new $10.1 million activity center.

The project broke ground in May 2021 and wrapped up this past May. It’s funded by a $15 million bond approved in 2020.

Some kids trained in the facility over the summer – but for others, this week’s first day of school marked the first time they saw it in person.

“Just kind of big eyes, looking around, you know – ‘Holy cow, this is so much better than the old space,’” Taylor Middleton, head wrestling coach and assistant football coach, said. “We just want to make sure they realize how grateful they need to be. We talk about gratitude a lot, the blessings we have to be in a facility this way, and I think that shows in the way they treat it, the respect they have for the facility and their peers here in the groups working out.”

Head football and strength & conditioning coach Jason Ambroson says the weights program has grown so much over the years, they had to start turning down students last year who wanted to sign up because they didn’t have the space.

Roughly 600 of the school’s 900 students are taking part in a weights class this year.

“The kids grew this program to where we were telling kids no in our old weight room. So there was a need,” Ambroson said. “This is not just for athletics. This is for everybody. This is for every kid. It’s for everybody who wants to gain weight, lose weight, feel more mobile, feel a little better about themselves, develop some life skills, whatever it is that they’re looking for.”

The facility features 20 custom power racks, a 30-yard turf, iPads for custom workout access, Power Plates, and a wrestling room upstairs.

“We’re gonna be able to provide opportunities for our robotics team, for our cheerleaders, our dance team, our color guard – because a lot of those teams have to work at 6 o’clock in the morning to get gym space, or 8 o’clock at night – and now they’re going to have opportunities,” Ambroson said.